— A Takata non-azide driver inflators (NADI) as part of an airbag recall involving 1.4 million inflators in multiple models of vehicles.
To date only BMW has announced a U.S. recall, but the automaker will soon be joined by Audi, Honda, Mitsubishi and Toyota which will recall vehicles to replace the NADI airbags.
Unlike millions of inflators already recalled because they contain the explosive chemical ammonium nitrate, the 1.4 million recalled non-azide driver inflators were used in brands of 1995-2000 vehicles.
However, just like inflators with ammonium nitrate, the non-azide inflators may absorb moisture and explode when the airbags deploy. One difference in this latest recall is how the airbags may also fail to inflate all the way and fail to protect drivers in crashes.
About 4,450,000 Takata NADIs were produced and sold by Takata worldwide and U.S. safety regulators aren't sure how many are in the U.S. Considering the age of the vehicles, many vehicles and their inflators are likely no longer on the roads.
According to Takata:
"Based upon the investigation to date, the potential for such abnormal deployment may require or be exacerbated by other factors, including manufacturing variation, climatic conditions, vibration, specifics of vehicle applications or other variables not fully understood."
In July 2019, BMW learned of an incident in Australia involving a 2000 BMW 3-Series where the driver was injured. An investigation determined the airbag inflator wasn't the original inflator but was taken from a 1998 BMW 3-Series in a salvage yard.
Then in September 2019 BMW learned of a driver fatality in Australia involving a 1998 BMW 3-Series, leading the automaker to determine a group of NADIs produced before March 15, 1999, may have sealing problems related to the foil seal tape. This convinced BMW to recall 12,600 vehicles to replace the airbag inflators.
However, BMW wasn't finished with bad news because in November the automaker confirmed an airbag exploded in a 1998 BMW 3-Series located in Cypress in which the driver was injured in July 2017.
The Takata NADI recall is a work in progress as the parties attempt to learn which vehicle models are affected.
CarComplaints.com will update our website with additional Takata recalls.